(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of this wrongful death case and its proceedings.)
B. Universal’s Motion for Summary Adjudication is Fatally Flawed
Code of Civil Procedure section 437c(f)(1) only permits courts to summarily adjudicate that one or more causes of action has no merit, there is no defense to one or more causes of action, a claim for punitive damages has no merit, or one or more defendants either owed or did not owe a duty to the plaintiff. When summary adjudication is sought, both the moving party’s notice of motion and separate statement must specify verbatim the specific cause of action, affirmative defense, claims for damages, or issues of duty sought to be adjudicated and the separate statement must tie each undisputed material fact to the particular claim, defense or issue sought to be adjudicated. [Cal. Rules of Court, rules 3.1350(b), (d) and (h).] There is a very important reason for these requirements: A party opposing a summary-adjudication motion is entitled to notice not only of the causes of action, claims or issues in dispute, but also of the alleged facts and evidence purportedly supporting summary adjudication of each such cause of action, claim or issue. [Gonzales v. Super. Ct. (1987) 189 Cal.App.3d 1542, 1546.] Universal in its Notice of Motion fails to state the specific cause(s) of action, affirmative defense(s), claim(s) for damages, or issue(s) of duty for which adjudication is sought.
(The discovery issues presented here are common to most personal injury cases.)
Nor does Universal tie each purported fact in its separate statement to a particular claim, defense or issue sought to be adjudicated. [Id.] Thus, the Court must deny Universal’s motion for summary adjudication. (See Part 10 of 14.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.